Foodfile: the weekly food news round-up

Delicious Dingle, modern Chinese at home and autumn workshops at Fumbally

Dingle Food Festival

There are more food festivals in Ireland now than ever before, but one of the best is the Dingle Food Festival, which shares billing with the Blas na hÉireann food awards in the Co Kerry town on October 2nd-4th. A unique feature of this event is the taste trail, which involves just about every shop and restaurant in town, so you can eat Dingle pie in an art gallery, try on couture hats and nibble on chocolates with a millinery designer, and sip wine in a crystal showroom. There are cookery demos, book signings and workshops galore. See

Pictured above: Carol Ryan of Murphy’s Ice Cream, Mark Murphy of Dingle Cookery School, and food consultant Trevis Gleason Photo by Sally MacMonagle.

Autumn workshops at The Fumbally

The Culinary Counter’s pop-up dinner at the Fumbally Stables, an extension of the Fumbally Cafe in Dublin 8, sold out in just six hours recently. An eight-course dinner prepared by Mark Moriarty, San Pellegrino best young chef in the world 2015, and his Culinary Counter collaborator Ciaran Sweeney, proved so popular that a second date was added and it too had a sold out sign up almost as soon as it was released.


Good job the Fumbally Stables autumn series of events also includes a diverse and interesting line-up of workshops, talks and events for which there are plenty of tickets available.

There’s a Blend Your Own Bitters workshop on October 10th (3.30pm- 6.30pm, €45) with Off the Cuffe, a company set up by Jarrod Cuffe and Barry Gargan. At the workshop you can expect to learn how to make and use bitters in cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and in cooking, as well as learning about basic formulas and processes for making bitters from botanicals including orange peel, cardamom and cocoa, and you’ll get to take home “your own unique blend of bitters”, they say.

Book now for Cheesemaking, a hands-on workshop with Silke Cropp of Corleggy cheese (October 7th, noon-5pm, €110), and Introduction to Fermentation, with April Danan, a fermented foods expert who specialises in working with wild yeasts (October 18th, 1pm-4pm, €85). You’ll take home your own baby cheese or sourdough starter from these classes.

Topics such as community gardening, wild foods, and lots more besides will be covered in a series of events that runs until the end of November. See for more information and to book.

Modern Chinese at home

I've yet to eat at A Wong, a modern Chinese restaurant in London, but having spent a happy evening with the new cookbook by chef/ proprietor Andrew Wong, it's top of my wishlist. A Wong The Cookbook (Octopus, £25), is refreshingly direct – prawn crackers (made with real prawns, imagine), are "a complete pain in the arse to make, requiring both loads of patience and time". Dim sum means "to touch the heart", I learn, and I now have a renewed appreciation of the skill involved in making 18-pleat Shanghai steamed dumplings – the ones with boiling hot stock inside. Step-by-step photos and clear instructions take the guess work out of the more complicated processes.

But the home cook needn’t be daunted – most dumplings work perfectly well pinched into a basic half moon shape, and as for those prawn crackers, well, just put A Wong on your wishlist too. In the meantime, I will be having a go at recreating the famous pork buns, in the style of Hong Kong restaurant Tim Ho Wan, as well as A Wong’s crispy chilli beef . “This dish epitomises for me what I understand modern Chinese cuisine to involve: looking closely at traditional recipes, identifying possible flaws in the dish and adapting the recipe accordingly to satisfy a contemporary clientele,” says the author. You can book seats to eat in the middle of the action in the kitchen at A Wong, or sign up for a class to perfect your dumpling pleating, or for noodle pulling by hand.